By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam
24 April 2021
Different Theories Of Different Branches Of Science Are Helpful But To Understand The Values And Responsibilities Of A ‘Family’ We Need To See It From The Islamic Point Of View
1. The very first virtue of an Islamic family is that of being kind to the parents.
2. Growing children should be taught to be a part of an inclusive society and discourage from anti-social activates.
3. Islam asks not to be extravagant at the expense of others in the society
4. Irrespective of religions, we all must accept the divinity and the values of kinship.
Man is known to be a social animal. He needs a community where he can have company to share his happiness, sadness, wishes and dreams, essential aspects of human life. This community is part of society and the world at large.
What is a ‘society and how the human being has to be an important component of an honest, brotherly and inclusive society is taught to him in ‘his family’ that primarily is made of his blood relatives? A family is made of a mother’s love, a father’s affection, grandparents lessons of morality and the sibling’s selfless love.
Almost all the branches of science have defined ‘family’ from their perspective, such as W.H. Watson, in Encyclopedia of Human Behavior (Second Edition), 2012 in the following lines:
“Family systems theory is an approach to understand human functioning that focuses on interactions between people in a family and between the family and the context(s) in which that family is embedded”
Different theories of different branches of science are helpful from different perspectives for different use or understanding but to understand the values and responsibilities of a ‘family’ we need to see it from the religious point of view because Allah, the Almighty says us in the Holy Quran:
“What you (O humanity) have been given of knowledge is but little.” (Al-Isra’ 17: 85)
It is evident enough that human being has no wisdom to understand everything as a whole unless he consults the Holy Quran because Allah says:
“Does He not know what He has created, and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted.” (Al-Mulk 67: 14)
This universe is a creation of Allah and it is perfect from every angle. If human beings notice tsunamis and pandemics, these are also not without any reason. They ultimately create better consequences for human being. Allah knows all about the past, the present and the future. The reality of a human being is an example of human virtues like love, kindness, mercy and compassion found in family life. So Allah created ‘family’ as the first component of a society. Allah says:
Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to your parents. If one of them or both of them reach old age with you, do not say to them a word of disrespect… and act humbly to them in mercy. Qur'an 17:23-24
The very first virtue of an Islamic family is that of being kind to the parents and being respectful to them and being an apostle of mercy to them. The growing children should be taught to be a part of an inclusive society and discouraged from anti-social activities. In the wider sense, these virtuous teachings of a family are not only for the betterment of the ultimate close people residing with the family but also help make an inclusive and humane society.
To establish the importance of ‘a family’ in the society, Allah, the Almighty has dedicated a whole Surah, “Al-Talaq” (Divorce) that addresses family affairs and the Surah “Al-Mujadalah” (The Dispute) to provide an immediate solution to all the family disputes, that are prone to happen.
Looking After the Family a Deed of Charity
Many of us think that Islam does not approve comfortable, even a luxurious life. It advocates a life of penury, many think. But it is not true. Islam asks not to be extravagant at the expense of others in the society whom you are supposed to support because Islam says, ‘if your neighbour is hungry, your food is Haram on you’. No humble person among us will like to be extravagant when our neighbours require simple bread. To specify, what spending on our family means to Islam, consider the following Hadees:
'A man's spending on his family is a deed of charity (Sahih al-Bukhari 4006
Charity is a deed that Allah loves the most and the Prophet (SAW) says that spending on one’s family is also counted as a form of charity in Islam. The above mentioned Hadees is proof of Muslims being asked to look after their families well and live a good life.
Value of Blood Relationship
Family structure has dramatically changed during the last half of the century. Value of blood relationship or kinship is demeaning with the time. Now it is the age of a Nuclear Family, especially in the developed western countries. As both the parents of the ‘nuclear family’ are earning members, children are looked after by their Nannies. In such a situation, kinship is almost nowhere to be found. Following Hadees is about the value of kinship and it says:
'The person who breaks the bond of kinship will not enter Paradise' - (Sahih al-Bukhari 5984)
The Hadees above should be an eye-opener for the world and teach them how important the bond of kinship is for them and the world, at large.
The following Ayaat too throw light on the virtues of respecting family relations. Islamic teachings pay paramount importance to kinship. Consider the following Quranic verses in this respect:
"And be careful of [your duty to] God in whose name you demand [your rights] from one another, and [to] the ties of relationship; surely God is ever watchful over you!" (4:1)
"And Worship God and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk." (4:36)
The importance given to the ‘family and the bond among the members of a family with one another can be gauged from the fact that in the above-mentioned verse Allah commands to not commit shirk and respect parents. To the believers, it says that disrespecting parents is no less a crime than committing shirk and for the world, it is a lesson in spiritual values of ‘old is gold.'
The following Hadees addresses the people and suggests a prescription for a long life by being with their family in the time of need and take their blessings. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says:
"He who wishes that his sustenance be increased for him and his death day be delayed, then he should pay attention to his kinsfolk."
And the following Hadees where Apostle of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asks his followers not to break up with the member of a family even if any member does so with you:
"Do not ever sever your relationship with a member of your family even if he severs his relationship with you."
The great-grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Imam Sajjad the fourth successor after him calls this relationship as ‘womb relatives’ and In his Treatise on Rights he says:
"The rights of your womb relatives are many; they are connected to you in the measure of the connection of the womb relationship.
"The most incumbent upon you is the right of your mother, then the right of your father, then the right of your child, then the right of your brother, then the next nearest, then the next nearest -- the most worthy, then the next most worthy."
When Allah, the Most Merciful created this world He knew every bit of the present, past and future and the institutions that will bring harmony and peace among His creation. So He constituted ‘the family’ as the very first leg of a bigger world. Allah says in Surah al-An`aam Ayah 59:
“And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it.”
Irrespective of religions, all of us human beings accept the divinity and the values of kinship, the relationship among the family members and acknowledge how the elders and the children of ‘a family’ must be loved and respected.
No matter what religion do we follow, to make the world beautiful and inclusive we will have to imprint the holy lessons of love, kindness and brotherhood in our growing children’s psyche to make their and our lives better in all respects.
And Allah knows the best.
Arman Neyazi is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com
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